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For role-playing purposes of course.

Though I'm no expert at either Baldur's Gate or AD&D, and I get the impression that this race/class combination and equipment set is a bit unusual (inefficient?). The farthest I ever got in BG was the beginning of Chapter 3, where I got bored and decided to start over. :/ What should I keep in mind during character creation and play so that I don't make my game harder than it has to be?

As for some details:
1) Starting from BG1 running in the BG2 engine
2) Good-aligned
3) My definition of "light armour" is flexible

For good measure, I'll tack on some semi-unrelated questions:

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Since your journal is cleared at the start of a new chapter, but you are supposedly still able to complete subquests you picked up in the previous chapter, is there a way to get those quests back in your journal so that you know what you're supposed to do?

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I tend to get attached to party members I recruit no matter how much they ought to annoy me. I therefore have a hard time dropping members when I need room for a new recruit. I find it hard to justify leaving behind someone who's been at my side for weeks (game time) for someone I just met on the street. In this game I'd prefer to drop members for semi-plot related reasons. For example, I think I would drop Jaheira/Khalid and Montaron/Xzar after investigating the problem that motivates the beginning of Chapter 3 (for those who have gone farther than me: does this quest's resolution make my proposal reasonable?). Otherwise I would prefer to just ignore a character that I don't intend to bring to endgame. I don't intend to drop Imoen.

Given this, and given my planned character, and with as few spoilers as possible, how may I manage my party so that I can efficiently recruit the characters I need and walk past the characters I don't need without hurting anyone's feelings and without skipping quests?

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Merry Christmas.
If you're playing a good-aligned character, it's not a good idea to pick evil-aligned party members, as they will eventually start to fight with other party members or even you if they think your reputation is too high. Mods can remove this if you wish, but if I'm going to role-play a specific alignment I think it makes sense to keep party members that fit with that alignment rather than shoehorn in others.

As for who to actually pick, I'd say go with most of the "core" NPCs, i.e. the ones you pick up along the way in your travels... Jaheira and Khalid, Minsc, Dynaheir, and Imoen, since that way you've got a couple of meat shields, a healer, a mage and a thief. You can plug in basically any type of character into this party and have it work out, but it might not be as optimised as if you were using some of the single-class NPCs out there.
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sear: If you're playing a good-aligned character, it's not a good idea to pick evil-aligned party members
But where's my comedy supposed to come from? :P

Anyway, I found this article on [url=http://playithardcore.com/pihwiki/index.php?title=Baldur's_Gate:_Races_and_Stats]Baldur's Gate's races and stats[/url] that gives recommendations on minimum and maximum stats for various classes. The only problem is that it assumes you roll for hours until you get absolutely perfect stats.

Really, character creation in BG has made me remember how much I hate, hate, hate, hate stat rolling in RPGs. D:< Was adherence to the official AD&D rules really so important that they couldn't have used the far less annoying system of stat point spending?
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sear: If you're playing a good-aligned character, it's not a good idea to pick evil-aligned party members
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Aaron86: But where's my comedy supposed to come from? :P

Anyway, I found this article on [url=http://playithardcore.com/pihwiki/index.php?title=Baldur's_Gate:_Races_and_Stats]Baldur's Gate's races and stats[/url] that gives recommendations on minimum and maximum stats for various classes. The only problem is that it assumes you roll for hours until you get absolutely perfect stats.

Really, character creation in BG has made me remember how much I hate, hate, hate, hate stat rolling in RPGs. D:< Was adherence to the official AD&D rules really so important that they couldn't have used the far less annoying system of stat point spending?
So don't try to roll a 'perfect' character. Besides, you can move points from one stat to another to get high scores in your prime stat(s).

Or, if you really don't want to spend the time rolling, just use Gatekeeper/Shadowkeeper to adjust your stats to what you want. (If this idea seems too much like cheating, you can always use a point-buy system as your guideline and adjust your stats to what it would be using that system).

Personally, I like rolling far better than point-buy.
Anyway, my revelation for tonight was discovering where quests from previous chapters go when you go to a new chapter. I just discovered that I can scroll through my journal to other chapters by clicking the blue gems on the side.
The light armor restriction will weaken your character a lot. Full plate is AC1 and studded leather is AC7, so enemies who have to roll 19 or 20 to hit you in full plate will hit you with a roll of 13-20 in studded leather, four times as often.
Definitey start wit 18 dex, the 4 AC bonus do make a big difference.
18 str are recommended for carrying capacity and melee power.
16 con will grant you a valuable hitpoint bonus.
With 18 wis you'll get a lot of bonus spells.
Int and cha can be dumped to the minimum.
Post edited December 25, 2010 by kmonster
I ended up dropping my light armour restriction. Really what I needed was my character to look like she's wearing a robe, and the paper doll and map sprite kind of does already. As far as I can tell, there's no tradeoffs between armour categories aside from class restrictions and carrying capacity. Which is too bad really.
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kmonster: cha can be dumped to the minimum.
But I want to be beautiful. :,(

Anyway, I've attached the stats I ended up rolling. This is the highest stat point total I was able to achieve.
Attachments:
stats.png (41 Kb)
1) Since you're using the BG2 engine, make a cleric of Lathander (the good aligned kit). Gives you an advantage over a general cleric. Of course if your character worships some other deity, discard this idea.

2) if your character has a high constitution just put it to 16 instead of 15, its only 1 point but the difference is big and this gives you the maximum benefit of constitution (17 and 18 will do nothing for a cleric)

3) you need strength to be able to equip stuff such as your armor or weapons and to do melee damage. Further on in the game(s) there are items that raise your strength so you *can* discard this statistic if you want.

4) a dexterity of 15 will give you a bonus of 1 to your armor class and a dexterity of 18 will give you a bonus of 4. As with the case of strength, there is an item that raises dexterity.

So from a min-max powergaming perspective you can choose whether to go for strength or dexterity and then use an item to raise the other stat. Of course, if you spend a bit more time rolling you can get better stats, but if you're roleplaying that isn't necessarily what you want to do. The game can be beaten by a less than "optimal" built character even solo but it will be more difficult for a first timer.
Post edited December 25, 2010 by Suiboon
You spent 8 extra stat points to raise dex from 7 to 15 in order to get +1 AC. For only 3 dex points more you'd get +3 AC and +2 to ranged damage.
Look at the stat tables. Only extreme stat values do make a difference. A character with 14 in all stats is as weak as a character with 8 in all stats.
If you can't get a better roll don't want to lower int or cha consider dumping either dex or con to 7 so you can raise strength to 18 and either dex to 18 or con to 16, maybe you even have a few remaining points to put into cha.

With your current stats you can have your party mage cast strength at your character for 18/50 and use "draw upon holy might" spell before hard battles to get extra AC and hitpoints (with 18 str you could use this spell to raise it to 19 for enormous melee bonuses). You can use potions which set str, dex or con to 18 in emergencies.